If God Is Love Means The Father Eternally Loves The Son, Does God Is Judge Means He Eternally Judges The Son?

Source: If God Is Love Means The Father Eternally Loves The Son, Does God Is Judge Means He Eternally Judges The Son?

Augustine in the eighth book of On Trinity begins to talk of love as involving three substances: the lover, the loved, and love. Modern apologists like Ravi Zacharias have argued that the statement God is Love could only be true if God is essentially and eternally a Triune being: the Father eternally loves the Son through the Holy Spirit. Thus, it was not that God was all alone (a monad) before the creation and had nothing to love, but being the Triune inter-personal God, He ever existed as Love.

Of course, Augustine also talks about the possibility of loving oneself and sees three things involved in this as well: “when the mind knows itself and loves itself, there remains a trinity: mind, love, knowledge; and this trinity is not confounded together by any commingling”. However, in this mono-love, there is only one person, though one may divide the experience into the lover, the loved, and love. Loving oneself is not inter-personal, and therefore possesses no love act of self-giving and submission. Therefore, the concept of the Triune God as Love is considered significant.

One objection raised to this argument goes something like this: If God is love means the Father eternally loves the Son through the Spirit, does God is Judge means the Father eternally judges the Son through the Spirit? And this applies to all statements such as “God is jealous” or “God is a consuming fire”. Is the Father eternally jealous or eternally consuming the Son? The objection tries to reduce the argument to ad absurdum.

A few clarifications are necessary. The objection misses the difference between love and the other mentioned predicates. “Jealous” here is an adjective, not a noun. “Consuming fire” is metaphorical for the righteousness of God in His judgment. “Judge” is an office which stands in relation to the created world. The statement “God is Love” is not the same as “God is Loving”. When one says that “God is Love”, there is an identity of substance and not just participation in or possessing of an attribute. This cannot be predicated of any other being. For instance, one cannot say that Mr. A is Love; we only say Mr. A is loving in nature. To say God is Love is to speak in absolute and infinite terms. The statement “God is Love” points to God as the ground of all morality and personality. Note the following excerpt from a previous post:

There are at least three approaches to understanding Trinity.

The Rational Approach. … personality finds its best explanation in the personal nature of God, whose existence as three persons (I-YOU-HE Sufficiency) in one Godhead is the ground of personhood.

The Moral Approach. It seeks to find in the doctrine of Trinity a rational ground for the absolute nature of moral virtues, such as love, goodness, and joy. If God didn’t eternally exist in a subject-object relationship, then He would be amoral and morality would not be absolute. The doctrine of Trinity provides a rational ground for any discussion of morality with respect to its absolute nature…. [See Illustrating Trinity]

Love is the summation of morality and personality and morality cannot be dissected of each other. To be a person is to be moral. Therefore, the reality of personality and morality must find an ontological ground in an infinite inter-personal Beginning and End of all things. The Triune Persons cannot be FOUR since inter-personal sufficiency is sufficed by the I-YOU-HE tri-personal Sufficiency), or else infinitude would be reduced to finite polytheism without any essential unity. Thus, the revelation of God as Love is crucial to our understanding of every other contingent reality of moral personhood.


Is Fallenness Present As Opposite Sex Attraction In Some And Same-Sex Attraction In Others?

Source: Is Fallenness Present As Opposite Sex Attraction In Some And Same-Sex Attraction In Others?

Sometime back, a pastor and leader in a reputed apologetic ministry commented that temptation to him occurred in the form of same-sex attraction, emphasizing that Christians must not regard temptation as sin but fight against temptation. He then went on to state that the fallenness of humanity is common to all and that while depravity may be manifest as opposite sex attraction in some, it appears as same-sex attraction in him and others. His comments went viral on social media. However, I disagree with his latter theological comment. Let me clarify the reasons:

1. Opposite sex attraction is considered natural in the scriptures and in common human history as well. Perversions exist with regard to this in the form of incest, adultery, sadism, and the like. However, this is not the case with same-sex attraction. It is by nature unnatural and cannot be put in the same terms as opposite-sex attraction. The statement made by the apologist hints at an understanding of same-sex attraction as something that exists as congenital perversion, i.e.present from birth as a pervert orientation. I believe that this is theologically inaccurate. It not only suggests that perversion is not uniform but also that it is diversely transferred as particular sin-acts and not just principle at birth. The blame is thrown on original sin. The Bible, however, states that God fashioned all hearts alike, but humans have perverted their ways. Romans 1 doesn’t say that people became homosexuals because they were wired in that way. It says that they became so because they rejected God.

2. One must distinguish between addictive slavery to acts and dispositions of human nature. For instance, nobody is created with orientation to smoking. They get addicted to it by beginning to try smoking. Later, they turn slaves to it. Then, even after some accept Christ, the temptation to smoke may exist unless one is completely delivered. But, for one who has never smoked, this temptation doesn’t exist. It is not due to congenital depravity but due to bondage inflicted by acts. The same applies even to sexual attractions. The one in bondage needs deliverance from that form of perverse and unnatural bondage. Nobody is wired to specific acts of sin at birth. They get snared by their choices. Some bondage could even have resulted from not being able to recover from abuse.

3. The Bible also talks of evil spirits and temptation by the devil towards greed, murder, pride and sin. If someone is in bondage because of giving in to evil powers, that person needs deliverance by the Holy Spirit. One cannot resist the devil, however, unless one has submitted to God. And, when that happens, the devil will flee.

The only true kind of deliverance is spiritual. The battle, whether of attraction or addiction, is in the mind. The Bible calls for renewal of mind. It means to reject any psychological or pseudo-theological opinion that tries to shift blame on a “sinful nature” that cannot be removed. Deliverance is real. There are many cases of people who have been delivered and have absolutely no desire for say smoking or alcohol anymore. They can’t stand these. The songs of worship which were boring to them once are now sweet and refreshing to their souls. They can’t sit with the scornful talking worldly things. There has been a change of nature, change of appetite, change of disposition. But, they had to first take that first step, though seemingly weak, towards repentance and faith in the Savior. They also must choose to be renewed in the spirit of their mind.

What Is Wrong With Homosexuality?

Sodomites trying to attack Lot are striked blind by angels

The contention of being “oriented” argues from a supposedly ontological basis. Just because a person claims to be so oriented, gives him/her justification to act in the way he/she claims to be oriented. The premise is: Whatever is natural (or the nature of one) is moral and justified. However, there is a problem with this premise.

First of all, the objective nature of the claim has to be conclusively established — the claims themselves being subjective and the nature of the investigation being empirical makes this quite unrealistic.

Secondly, it is quite superfluous to assume that within members of the same species, opposed “natures” or “orientations” exist. Obviously, that defeats any attempt to definition. Originally, one understands what a man or a cat or an elephant is by nature. If any member of a particular species seems to be behaving differently or contrary to this nature, the behavior is considered to be unnatural. But, if a multiplicity of “orientations” were allowed as natural, the definition of what is natural suffers.

The Bible calls homosexuality as being “against nature”.

For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful,and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. (Rom 1:26-27)

Those who have no interest in the Biblical pronouncement, however, must explain their grounds for basis a moral argument for homosexual rights. Obviously, it will be self-defeating for them to accept the subjective “orientation” arguments. For, if they accept that, they would also be legitimizing every other form of sexual “perversion” (as we understand all such acts that are contrary to nature). [Check the Wikipedia List: List of Paraphilias]

For an atheist, the issue might be quite subjective and moral norms a matter of majority judgments. For instance, Bertrand Russel, in his debate with Father Copleston, argued that cases such as Hitler’s in which he felt his actions to be right may be compared to people who have jaundice and so saw things as yellow. But, if the jaundiced were the majority, their view would be considered “natural” and the others “unnatural”. Such an argument is ultimately self-defeating. How would a society in which everyone believed that murdering each other was good and protecting each other was considered evil be like? How about a society in which homosexuality is considered natural because the majority are homosexuals and heterosexuality is considered unnatural? In both the cases, if all other implications of the argument are worked out, there should be no human left to sustain the argument. Everybody will kill each other and sincere homosexuality would put an end to human reproduction, wouldn’t it? Certainly, something is wrong here.

Sadly, the “think-tanks” of liberation only want to sing the chorus of feelings and independence. These are their only absolutes that they fight for. But, how can one claim to have an answer without first working out all the implications of a problem? How can one have arrived at a conclusion without first following all the necessary steps involved in working out the solution of a problem? These are not “think-tanks”; these are choruses.

The word “homosexual” is malakos in the Greek Bible. It means:
1) soft, soft to the touch
2) metaphorically, in a bad sense
2a) effeminate
2a1) of a catamite
2a2) of a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man
2a3) of a male who submits his body to unnatural lewdness
2a4) of a male prostitute

The word “sodomites” is arsenokoites in the Greek Bible. It means “one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual.”

The Bible gives the judgment:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1Co 6:9-10)

Source: What Is Wrong With Homosexuality?

The Moral Basis of Indian Law

Now, while the debate exists in the philosophy of law about the relationship between political laws and the moral law, attempts to base the laws on anything other than the moral law sooner face problems of justifiability. While it may be the case that reductionism of politics to ethics is not totally feasible, resort to anti reductionism is only self-defeating. And, then authority arguments that try to derive validity of laws from higher laws, which in return try to derive their validity from a much higher one (e.g. Hans Kelsen’s Pure Theory of Law), will have to strike ceiling at some point ( See Marmor, A. Philosophy of Law, Princeton, 2011). For instance, the judges under Hitler’s regime could not be absolved upon the relativist presumption that they were only conforming to some law of a sovereign nation. The question of validity and justice could not be anchored in such “sovereign” authority alone.

However, this doesn’t mean that authority doesn’t count. In fact, authority does often prescribe laws in many cases, but the laws are only instrumental towards a much larger cause. Thus, we have law-givers such as Solon, Moses, and Manu. However, the validity of the prescriptions are based on a deeper intent. The intent or the spirit of the law is what matters. It also means that where laws fail to serve the intent, they must fade away and give place to the new.
Plato’s elaborative study of justice as an ethical virtue in the analogically larger Republic is based on the same understanding that ethics and politics are inseparable. Similarly, his disciple Aristotle didn’t see any reason to separate the both. In the Biblical tradition, the entire Mosaic Law was based on the Decalogue or the Ten Commandments, which were the essence of the Law. Jesus pointed out that they all hung on the two Great Commandments: To love God absolutely and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Of course, Paul, later submitted that the Law was only a revealer and a restricter. It revealed human sinfulness and it was meant to restrict the lawless (it was given for the lawless). Jesus pointed out that certain laws (for instance, the law of divorce) were only permissive because of the hardness of human hearts, but didn’t reflect the original intent of human creation.
Looking, now, into the Indian Constitution, one asks what is Indian Law based upon ultimately. The Preamble makes the democratic nature of the Republic clear. And, so it is the people’s government for sure. But, the moral philosophy is indicated in words like “humanism” and “scientific temper”, featured later on under Fundamental Duties. While the temper is scientific, the philosophical ground is humanism and its philosophy of man is condensed in the section called Fundamental Rights. The Law exists to ensure the protection of these fundamental rights of every Indian citizen. Consequently, any law that is inconsistent with these rights is automatically annulled.
The Fundamental Rights are not prescriptions to the people but declarations of humanism. These declarations are prescriptive only to the laws, since the laws are expected to conform to them. Thus, they not only inform but also serve as reference points, as absolute foundation, for the laws. As such, we may refer to them, with regard to humanism, as the intent, or spirit of the laws; perhaps even as the Law of the laws since they serve as the measure of all laws.
But, how do we know that these declarations are true? Perhaps, it is similar to asking about the laws of logic, “How does one know whether they are true?” The answer is: by using them or trying not to use them. One cannot deny them, but then one cannot deny anything without using them. Similarly, one cannot deny the Fundamental Rights without himself losing the rights.

Movies and the Imitative Arts – Quotes


“You see, the Bible does not say, “In the beginning was video.” It says in the beginning was the Word.”

“What then do we make of our time when the camera controls the imagination of young minds? I am afraid some day we will wake up and wonder how we were so foolish to have missed this powerful influence. And we cannot run from it. We are in it. From the pictures that tell the story, to the music that is now visualized, we are in it. The sensations are being propelled through the eye-gate. It is not without reason that Jesus warned His listeners to let the eye be single, for it is the lamp of the body.

The implications here are extremely important. For decades science has been seen as an exacting discipline of the intellect, and the arts as a free-floating realm of the imagination. With the advance of computers, may I suggest to you that the two disciplines will converge, and the imagination may place the demand upon the sciences till a free-floating technological power will play the role of a creator of people’s fantasies. The intellect will be seduced by the imagination. The tower of Babel could well be built with one language—only it will be in pictures and accessed by buttons.

But there is another side to this, and we should not forget it. Just because this generation thinks visually does not mean they do not think deeply. They do, about the issues that trouble them. One day my eighteen-year-old son phoned home from school and said he would be a little late after school because he was stopping at the shopping mall to get something. When my wife asked him what it was he was getting, he was a little reluctant to share it because he was not sure how we would react. Then he told her what it was. He was stopping to order a little chain to put around his neck, with a pendant that just said “13.” It did not take long to figure it out, and he explained his reason. Just a few days before, in that dreadful shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, thirteen had been mercilessly shot to death. “I want to remember them,” he said, “especially the courage of the ones who were willing to lay down their lives for Jesus Christ.” You see, none of us as adults would have thought of expressing it that way. Our expression was in words. Young people often do it in symbols, and they are just as deep.”

A.W. Tozer, “The Menace of the Religious Movie”.

“For the motion picture as such I have no irrational allergy. It is a mechanical invention merely and is in its essence amoral; that is, it is neither good nor bad, but neutral. With any physical object or any creature lacking the power of choice it could not be otherwise. Whether such an object is useful or harmful depends altogether upon who uses it and what he uses it for.”

“Now, what is wrong with all this? Why should any man object to this or go out of his way to oppose its use in the house of God? Here is my answer:
“1. It violates the scriptural law of hearing”
“2. The religious movie embodies the mischievous notion that religion is, or can be made, a form of entertainment.”
“3. The religious movie is a menace to true religion because it embodies acting, a violation of sincerity.”

“Sincerity for each man means staying in character with himself. Christ’s controversy with the Pharisees centered around their incurable habit of moral play acting. The Pharisee constantly pretended to be what he was not. He attempted to vacate his own “I-ness” and appear in that of another and better man. He assumed a false character and played it for effect. Christ said he was a hypocrite.

It is more than an etymological accident that the word “hypocrite” comes from the stage. It means actor. With that instinct for fitness which usually marks word origins, it has been used to signify one who has violated his sincerity and is playing a false part. An actor is one who assumes a character other than his own and plays it for effect. The more fully he can become possessed by another personality the better he is as an actor.”

“4. They who present the gospel movie owe it to the public to give biblical authority for their act: and this they have not done.”

“5. God has ordained four methods only by which Truth shall prevail—and the religious movie is not one of them.”

“Without attempting to arrange these methods in order of importance, they are prayer, song, proclamation of the message by means of words, and good works.”

“6. The religious movie is out of harmony with the whole spirit of the Scriptures and contrary to the mood of true Godliness.”

“To harmonize the spirit of the religious movie with the spirit of the Sacred Scriptures is impossible. Any comparison is grotesque and, if it were not so serious, would be downright funny. Try to imagine Elijah appearing before Ahab with a roll of film! Imagine Peter standing up at Pentecost and saying, “Let’s have the lights out, please.” When Jeremiah hesitated to prophesy, on the plea that he was not a fluent speaker, God touched his mouth and said, “I have put my words in thy mouth.” Perhaps Jeremiah could have gotten on well enough without the divine touch if he had had a good 16mm projector and a reel of home-talent film.”

“If the movie is needed to supplement anointed preaching it can only be because God’s appointed method is inadequate and the movie can do something which God’s appointed method cannot do. What is that thing? We freely grant that the movie can produce effects which preaching cannot produce (and which it should never try to produce), but dare we strive for such effects in the light of God’s revealed will and in the face of the judgment and a long eternity?”

“7. I am against the religious movie because of the harmful effect upon everyone associated with it.”

“First, the evil effect upon the “actors” who play the part of the various characters in the show; this is not the less because it is unsuspected. Who can, while in a state of fellowship with God, dare to play at being a prophet? Who has the gall to pretend to be an apostle, even in a show? Where is his reverence? Where is his fear? Where is his humility? Any one who can bring himself to act a part for any purpose, must first have grieved the Spirit and silenced His voice within the heart.”

“Secondly, it identifies religion with the theatrical world”

“Thirdly, the taste for drama which these pictures develop in the minds of the young will not long remain satisfied with the inferior stuff the religious movie can offer.”

“Fourthly, the rising generation will naturally come to look upon religion as another, and inferior, form of amusement.”

“Fifthly, the religious movie is the lazy preacher’s friend.”

Tozer, Roots of the Righteous

“I believe that entertainment and amusements are the work of the Enemy to keep dying men from knowing they’re dying; and to keep enemies of God from remembering that they’re enemies.”

“The average man… has become a parasite on the world, drawing his life from his environment, unable to live a day apart from the stimulation which society affords him”

“The great god Entertainment amuses his devotees mainly by telling them stories. The love of stories, which is a characteristic of childhood, has taken fast hold of the minds of the retarded saints of our day, so much so that not a few persons manage to make a comfortable living by spinning yarns and serving them up in various disguises to church people.”

Leonard Ravenhill

“Entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy. Because there isn’t enough power in the house of God, people are always looking for something to take its place.” (The Judgment Seat of Christ)

“I am angry that the Church, in many (and maybe most) cases, is an entertainment center.” (Be Ye Angry and Sin Not)

Ravi Zacharias, “How Should Christians Watch TV”

“If anyone can conquer my imagination, he has conquered me.”
“Appeals to the imagination can bypass the will and reason, and hold captive the conscience. This is why music and television are such powerful forces; they have that potential of circumventing the guardians of the soul.”

“Second, television controls enormous themes in simplistic ways, making the viewer morally uncritical.”

“Third, television produces a debilitating effect in concentration spans. How is it possible for a child raised on fast-moving scenes and cartoon characters to find his teacher exciting?”

“Fourth, television sets up heroes and models for the young who become almost cultic in their zeal.”

“Last, from this writer’s perspective, television produces a sociological phenomenon where authority is completely dislocated. A person becomes authoritative because he or she is well-known. Thus, a film actress who has no moral beliefs whatsoever becomes a powerful voice defending abortion.”

“The illusionary world of most television programming runs from reality, distorts and makes enticing a way of life that is a lie. Let us instead, with all our minds seek God’s truth, and do all to the glory of God. Quite candidly, could you imagine Jesus sitting in front of this instrument and feeding his mind on it?”

Bill Bright, Interview on CBN by Michael Little

Little: “Would you say that the ‘Jesus’ film has won more people to Christ?”

Bright: “There have been over 4.2 billion in 645 languages in 235 countries believe the film. We have reason to believe there are hundreds of millions who have made some kind of decision.”

Little: “Sometimes I’ve read as many as 1/3 of the people who view it actually pray to receive?”

Bright: “I’ve seen occasions where most of the people present did that.”

Little: “Yes”.

Bright: “I remember a pastor of a large church in Nairobi, Kenya wanted to start a new church. So we took the film to a part of the city where there was a lot of foot-traffic and started the film. No one there but us. Soon there were about 1,500 people stopped to see it. And when the invitation was given over one half of them indicated they wanted to receive the Lord. So we started the church immediately.”

Little: “Just like that?”

Bright: “You know about the Dawn Ministry?”

Little: “Yes, sure.”

Bright: “Mr. Steele said their reports indicate that through the ‘Jesus’ film and other evangelism in which we were involved, over 750,000 churches have been started.


Psychological Effects of Method Acting, Wikipedia. June 13, 2013

“Method acting is employed by actors to evoke realistic emotions into their performance by drawing on personal experiences. Raymond Hamden, doctor of Clinical and Forensic Psychology, defines the purpose of method acting as “compartmentalizing their own feelings while playing another character [so] they could bring the emotions of that personal feeling to cry if they needed to with that character.” However, when these emotions are not compartmentalized, they can encroach on other facets of life, often seeming to disrupt the actor’s psyche. This occurs as the actor delves into previous emotional experiences, be they joyful or traumatic. The psychological effects, like emotional fatigue, comes, however when suppressed or unresolved raw emotions are unburied to add to the character. not just from the employing personal emotions in performance. The question becomes whether the actor calls up resolved or unresolved emotions in their acting.”

“It is commonly believed that there is a strong correlation between acting and the physiological reaction to acting. According to the task-emotion theory, “the positive emotions of the actor should be coupled with a specific physiological activation. In particular, excited physical reactions were expected to co-exist with task-emotions such as tension, excitement, and challenge.”

The danger comes when control precedence “manifests itself by sudden interruptions of behavior, changes in behavior or by persistence of [character’s] behavior.”. “Control precedence” by emotions is the “feelings, thoughts, impulses, actions or activation going along with aroused emotion that takes precedence over other planned or half executed thoughts, feelings, impulses, etc.” Control precedence is the main concern for method acting. It proves a challenge for actors to come out of character after employing method acting techniques, sometimes altering their behavior, urging them to follow impulses that would be foreign to their own personal nature. This difficulty of returning to one’s own behavior is the common concern linked with method acting.

Suzanne Burgoyne, Karen Poulin, Ashley Rearden,
The Impact of Acting on Student Actors: Boundary Blurring, Growth, and Emotional Distress

“The theory suggests that the blurring of boundaries between actor and character may be a significant condition for impact, and that the actor’s ability to control that blurring may influence whether an acting experience leads to growth or emotional distress. Since some inside-out approaches to acting encourage the actor to use her own personal experience in building a character, thus facilitating boundary blurring, this theory has major implications for theatre pedagogy.

While some of our interviewees have learned through experience that boundary blurring may become problematic, none of them reported having been taught boundary management.”

“Awareness of boundary blurring appears to be a first step for students to develop strategies for boundary management. Although teachers may understand that acting can have psychological side-effects, our interviews reveal that young actors may be unaware of that possibility until they have an emotionally distressing experience. On the basis of the theory emerging from this study, we suggest that the theatre profession address boundary management as an aspect of acting pedagogy.”

Plato, The Republic

“In saying this, I intended to imply that we must come to an understanding about the mimetic art, –whether the poets, in narrating their stories, are to be allowed by us to imitate, and if so, whether in whole or in part, and if the latter, in what parts; or should all imitation be prohibited?”

“no one man can imitate many things as well as he would imitate a single one?”

“Then the same person will hardly be able to play a serious part in life, and at the same time to be an imitator and imitate many other parts as well; for even when two species of imitation are nearly allied, the same persons cannot succeed in both, as, for example, the writers of tragedy and comedy”

Aristotle, Poetics 

“Poetry in general seems to have sprung from two causes, each of them lying deep in our nature. First, the instinct of imitation is implanted in man from childhood, one difference between him and other animals being that he is the most imitative of living creatures, and through imitation learns his earliest lessons; and no less universal is the pleasure felt in things imitated.”

“Next, there is the instinct for ‘harmony’ and rhythm, meters being manifestly sections of rhythm. Persons, therefore, starting with this natural gift developed by degrees their special aptitudes, till their rude improvisations gave birth to Poetry.”

“Poetry now diverged in two directions, according to the individual character of the writers. The graver spirits imitated noble actions, and the actions of good men. The more trivial sort imitated the actions of meaner persons, at first composing satires, as the former did hymns to the gods and the praises of famous men.”